The recent announcement by the national broadcasting commission [NBC] on June 6, 2019 of the suspension of broadcasting license from DAAR Communication, the parent company of AIT has been traced to the President of the federation, President Muhammadu Buhari. This is as reliable information points to the recent concluded presidential elections as the reason for the order to shutdown AIT with immediate effect.
As 247ureports.com learnt from inside source knowledgeable of the details leading to the eventual shutdown of the broadcasting giant indicates that close associates of the President believes the top boss of the DAAR Communication group, Chief Raymond Dokpesi may have spearheaded the team that obtained information regarded the election results data stored in the server belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC].
A source pointed to the recent harassment on the person of Raymond Dokpesi and the AIT broadcasting outfit as stemming from intelligence from security outfit which revealed that Raymond Dokpesi may have critical information of how the Atiku presidential campaign managed to retrieve information from the INEC server. The source noted that the Buhari presidential campaign were shocked and more surprised on how the Atiku campaign obtained the safely guarded information. The source confirmed the data to be authentic and highly representative of the real election results for the presidential elections.
It was gathered that following the revelation by the former vice president, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku of his having data results stored in the INEC servers, the Nigeria security outfits launched increased surveillance of persons believed to have actively participated in the Atiku presidential campaign particularly, the DAAR Communication boss.
Prior to the Atiku revelation, the DAAR Communication boss was able to travel out of the country for medical checkups – with the open knowledge of the applicable security outfits. It all changed as soon as the revelation was made. Dokpesi was accosted at the Abuja International airport by security officials upon his re-entry into Nigeria from a trip to London.
Interestingly, the security agents were not agents of the immigration as expected. Rather it was agents of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency [NIA]. Dokpesi was queried by the agents on why he was carrying two passports and why he was traveling a lot – and the purpose of his traveling. The interrogating agent, a young Hausa man, seemed not knowledgeable about immigration policies of Nigeria.
Following the episode at the airport, the persecution continued. The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] Malam Bello moved to begin demolition of properties belonging to AIT in Abuja. Many of the properties destroyed/demolished were carried out on questionable reasons.
During the 2015 president election, the AIT Broadcasting outfit had aired a paid advertorial for the then Jonathan presidential campaign. The advertorial which aired on the television network showcased the past activities of the then presidential challenger, Muhammadu Buhari in not so flattering manner. The Buhari administration remains unhappy over the advertorials. Raymond Dokpesi was immediately taken into the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] upon Buhari victory at the polls.
Dokpesi has gone to court to challenge the shutdown.
PRESS BRIEFING ON SUSPENSION OF LICENCE – DAAR COMMUNICATIONS, HELD TODAY 6TH JUNE, 2019 AT THE NBC HEADQUARTERS IN ABUJA.
Following monitoring reports and complaints from concerned Nigerians about the broadcast contents of Daar Communications Plc’s AIT/Raypower broadcast stations, the NBC have over the last 2 years summoned on several occasions management of the company to address issues regarding the operations of AIT/Raypower with the company, particularly, Political Platform and Kakaaki aired on AIT.
In one of our meetings, held on 2nd June, 2017, the Commission expressed its disappointment with the way and manner Hate Speech, divisive and inciting comments are applied in discussion of national issues in breach of the provisions of the NBC Act and Broadcast Code.
Again, on 15th August, 2017, it became imperative to invite the company for yet another meeting on almost same issues. Furthermore, while addressing another meeting on 7th February, 2018 we highlighted issues of concern to the Commission which indicated that the company had been breaching the provisions of Sections 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 of the broadcast Code. The company’s delegates in their response promised to abate the breaches and comply with the law.
However, on October 18, 2018, the Commission was disturbed with the manner in which social media issues became part of the mainstream media unedited on AIT/Raypower, and was constrained to issue a generic letter to all broadcast stations on
the need to exercise caution in the use of user generated content from the social media knowing how volatile and misleading the social media has become. The management of Daar Communication Plc thereafter took to the social media to display our official correspondences.
Recently, the Commission’s monitoring reports on AIT/Raypower indicate the use of divisive comments accredited to the segment of “Kakaaki”, tagged, “Kakaaki Social”, where inciting comments like, “Nigeria is cursed, we declare independent state of Niger Delta”, “Nigeria irritates me”, “this country is gradually Islamizing” and other similar slogans are used without editorial control in breach of the broadcast Code. We were therefore constrained to issue Daar Communication letters of warning dated May 27th, 2019.
We also observed from monitoring reports that a documentary on the Presidential Election Tribunal, a pending election petition matter aired on AIT on Wednesday and Thursday, 22nd and 23rd May, 2019 without regard to the provisions of the Broadcast Code. The Commission, in line with its regulatory powers again cautioned AIT in another letter also dated 27th May, 2019.
However, instead of making amends, the management of Daar Communications Plc resorted to the use of media propaganda against the regulator. Even the letters from the NBC were posted on social media platforms.
Needless to state that Daar Communications have over the years turned themselves into a bad example of how a professional broadcast outfit should not be run.
In their relationship with the NBC, Daar Communications carry on, as if it is beyond the regulatory direction of the Commission. They don’t pay their licence fees as and when due.
Its broadcast is patently partisan and one sided and deliberately inciting and heating the polity. The management of the Company has created the habit of using the channel to fight its personal battles contrary to the statutory requirements of the law.
SHUT DOWN ORDER
Today the 6th of June, 2019, AIT/Rapower embarked on use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts, and media propaganda against the government and, the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria.
Consequently, after several meetings with management of Daar Communications Plc and many letters of warning. The NBC, today 6th June, 2019 took a decision to suspend the licence of Daar Communications Plc for failure to abide by the Commission’s directives, the provisions of the NBC Act Cap N11
Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
This decision is based on the provisions of Section 10 of the Third Schedule of the NBC Act Cap N11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, which states as follows:
(d) where in the opinion of the Commission the station has been used in a manner detrimental to national interest.
(g) where there is wilful or repeated failure to operate
substantially as set forth in the licence
(h), where there is wilful or repeated violation or wilful or repeated failure to observe any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorised by this Act or by a treaty ratified by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(i), where there is violation of or failure to observe any cease and desist order issued by the Commission;
(k), where a provision of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code has been seriously breached; and
The SHUT DOWN order is until further notice.